Hail the messenger

Don Hensler

Photo By Tom Angel

Meet Chico’s one and only bike messenger, Don Hensler. He’s always enjoyed riding his bike, but it wasn’t until recently that he made it a business. Although he already had a full-time job, he is somehow finding time to dodge traffic on his bike as well. We heard about him through a flier that arrived with the Chamber of Commerce newsletter.

How long have you been a bike messenger?

I just started the business.

What made you want to be a bike messenger?

I’m a painting contractor, and in the winter It’s kind of slow. I was running errands for my wife all over town on my bike and started running some for her at work, and her boss suggested there might be a market for it out there. My wife works for an accounting firm, and they said they’ll definitely use me during tax times.

Who are some of your clients?

None yet, besides the accounting firm.

Have you ever been hit by a car or been into any accidents?

Several times. I’ve had just a few minor bumps. Cars will pull out in front of me and both of us stop, but both of us end up hitting. I’ve gone over the hood once.

What do you do in the summer when it’s really hot or in the wintertime when it’s raining?

I drink a lot of water in the summer time; the heat doesn’t affect me. I love riding in the rain; I just get wet.

Do you ever want to cheat and drive your car?

I don’t advertise strictly as a bicycle messenger. If it’s something too large, I’ll hop in my car and run to Paradise, Oroville or Orland. I don’t feel I’m cheating, as long as I get it there.

Has anyone ever blamed the messenger?

I don’t know yet. I’m sure they will. They blame the post office.